TikTok Advertising: A Complete Guide to Use TikTok Ads in 2022

by Hassaan Khan
16 minutes
TikTok-Advertising

Have you ever wondered how to use TikTok ads for online advertising? If you haven’t had a chance to explore TikTok advertising, you’re missing out on many marketing opportunities.

We are all guilty of scrolling through the TikTok feed every day and spending hours on the app. 

When a platform or app gets attention, it opens monetization opportunities for the platform/app. As a result, most social platforms opt for premium plans or paid add-on features. 

However, one of the ways to make money using social media platform is by offering ads facilities to the advertisers. An ad feature only succeeds when there is a large user base. Thanks to one billion monthly active users, TikTok has nothing to worry about in that area. 

One of the many reasons TikTok advertising is a fantastic opportunity is its new platform. Usually, early advertisers take advantage of the low PPC/CPM rates because there is less competition on the ad platform.

The ad rates go up when more advertisers bid for the ad spaces. You have heard the same thing about Google ads and Facebook ads – they used to be very affordable 6 to 7 years ago.

If you’re planning to advertise your business on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, go through this article before jumping the gun.

This article discusses many aspects of running TikTok ads in 2022 and beyond. 

Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.

How to Set Up a TikTok Ad Campaign

To start the TikTok ad campaign, you must first create a TikTok ad manager account.

Then, follow the step-by-step guide to run your first TikTok ad campaign:

Step #1: Choose Your Goal

  • Tiktok-Campaign

Start with creating your TikTok Ads Manager account. Once you’re done with that, you can head over to the first step, which is setting a goal for your TikTok ad campaign.

There is no rocket science involved in selecting the campaign goal. All you need is to figure out what your goals are to achieve from this ad campaign. 

You’re most likely to cash in on the attention of this short-video platform, which is why you’re digging deeper into the TikTok advertising.

So here are three types of goals you can choose from to get started with your TikTok ad campaign:

  • Connect With Customers

You must choose this goal if you’re sure your potential customers exist on TikTok. Suppose your customers are between 16 to 24. In that case, you go down this rabbit hole and make a difference because TikTok is the best social media platform to reach a 12 to 24 years old audience. 

  • Get Website Visits

Since TikTok has over a billion monthly active users, it turns out that this platform has something for everyone. If you intend to bring people to your website, select this goal to make things happen for you. 

  • Generate Customers Leads

Use the power of the TikTok ads platform to find a like-minded audience. For example, you could select this goal and use the lead generation form in your ad to generate leads for your business.

The purpose of step #1 is to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction. You can’t expect the desired results if you opt for the wrong goal. 

Therefore, keep the result in mind while choosing the TikTok ad campaign goal. 

Step #2: Select Your Audience

TikTok-Target-Audience

The next up is selecting the audience. Once you’re done with the goal selection, you need to determine your target audience selection. Simply put, decide whom you’re trying to reach out to via TikTok ads. 

However, it doesn’t end here because the next steps would also influence the reach of your ads. Still, audience selection pretty much does the job.

Here are two essential factors in selecting the right audience:

  • Location

Location is the key to reaching out to the right audience. If your target audience is in the U.S., but you choose Canada or Mexico, there is no way you could get the best outcome from this campaign. 

  • Audience

Just like any other ad platform, the TikTok ad platform allows you to drill down on the audience so that you can meet the suitable audience with your ad campaign.

There are two types of audience options available in the TikTok ads manager:

I. Automatic audience

This option does what it sounds like, meaning it makes the automatic selection. When you go for the automatic audience, the system chooses the most receptive and engaging audience for you.

II. Manual audience

Opting for the manual audience gives you room to select who should see your TikTok ads. In addition, it allows the advertiser to have a little bit of control over the ad recipients.

Furthermore, keep an eye on the audience meter on the right side of the page to know your ad campaign’s potential audience size.

Step #3: Set Your Budget

An ad campaign is incomplete without setting a budget. Have you ever run a Facebook ad or Google ad? Then, you’d know how allocating budget works when starting an online ad campaign.

I found TikTok ad campaign setup similar to the Quora ad platform. You can check out our guide on how to advertise on Quora

At step three, you’ll be required to set the campaign budget so that the ad platform knows how much you want to spend on the ads. There are three key elements of setting your campaign budget:

  • Budget Allocation

The first option of the campaign budget setup is the area to allocate the budget. It means whether you want to spend a specific amount daily or on a lifetime basis. 

  • Amount to spend

The next option in the row is the amount you have to put in to tell the ad network that you want to spend this much daily or for a lifetime. Again, it could be as low as $5 daily.

  • Campaign Schedule

The last option is the campaign schedule. Once you have defined the budget allocation and decided the amount you want to spend, the campaign schedule is next. Use the drop-down menus to choose the starting and ending dates of the ad campaign.

Step #4: Design Your Ad

The last step is the section where you name the ad and upload the media. As far as the ad media is concerned, you could use a vertical video or image for your TikTok ad.

One of the crucial parts of setting up a TikTok ad campaign is designing the best ad regardless of the media format.

Make sure that if you’re using a video for your TikTok ad, it must be highly engaging and grasp the audience’s attention. On the other hand, if you’re using an image, it must be eye-catching to push the audience to respond to the ad.

Here are three elements of this step:

  • Ad Name

Use a unique ad name so that you can identify it later on. Plus, it’s good to be able to differentiate an ad by its name. Otherwise, you won’t be able to identify the nitty-gritty of a successful ad campaign.

  • Media

You could upload a video or an image for your TikTok ad. A video could be 15 to 60 seconds long, and the format could be MP4, MPEG, MOV, or AVI. The video resolution must be 720 x 1280 px or 640 x 640 px or 1280 x 720 px. And the aspect ratio should be 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9. The video size shouldn’t exceed 500 MB.

  • Text and Links
  • Text
    Source:Tiktok

The text and link are the third most crucial requirement for designing a perfect TikTok ad. For example, you could use a brief text alongside the call-to-action button to explain what the ad is all about. The link and CTA button also help the audience respond to the ad.

That’s pretty much it. 

As you know, you’d need a TikTok Ads Manager account to run a TikTok ad campaign. However, you would also boost your TikTok videos through your TikTok account without signing up for a TikTok Ads Manager account.

Related: Post on TikTok using Content Studio

TikTok Ads: Types, Specifications, and Formats

Here are various types of TikTok ads to try out and everything else you need to know about them:

1. Video Ads

TikTok video ad is the most popular type of TikTok ad. Since it flawlessly integrates with the TikTok feed and hardly looks like an ad due to the coherence with the timeline, it works very well.

Let’s take a look at the TikTok video specifications that must be considered before starting your TikTok ad campaign: 

  • Aspect Ratio: The aspect ratio must be 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9.
  • Ad Composition: It includes a video creative and a brand name, and an ad description underneath it.
  • Video Resolution: Following resolutions work perfectly for TikTok video ads: 540x960px, 640x640px, or 960x540px.
  • Video Formats: The acceptable video formats for TikTok video ads are .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi. 
  • Video Ad Duration: The video ad should be between 15 to 60 seconds long.
  • File Size: The maximum video file size is 500 MB for the TikTok video ads. 

2. Image Ads

Image ads are relatively simple in comparison to video ads. As you may already know, TikTok is a short, vertical video platform, so video ads are more native to the platform. 

However, it doesn’t mean the image ads don’t work. You should A/B split test image ads with other ads to see how they work for your brand. The image ads come in handy when you don’t have time to make a video, or you aren’t a camera person. Let’s take a look at the image ad specifications:

  • Ad Composition: It includes an image creative, a brand name, and the description.
  • Image Resolution: There is no restriction on the resolution, but TikTok suggests 1200×628. 
  • File Size: It’ll be better if the file size is less than 500 KB.
  • Brand Name: The limit for the brand name in the image ad is 20 full-width characters or 40 half-width characters.
  • Ad Description: As far as the image ad description, it supports 12-100 Latin characters and 6-50 Asian characters.

3. Spark Ads

 

Spark-Ads
Source:TikTok

Spark ad is a native ad format for TikTok advertisers. It allows advertisers to leverage the organic TikTok posts and their features in the advertising. 

The way it works is that it lets you use your account’s post to use as a creative for the ad. Plus, you could also use others’ posts with their authorization for TikTok ads.

The Spark ad uses the posts from real TikTok accounts, which allows advertisers to cash in on all the views, comments, shares, and likes – in other words, you retain all the vanity metrics your TikTok post gets as a result of a Spark ad campaign.

Here are the specifications you may want to know about the Spark ads:

  • Ad Creative: It uses the organic posts from the account. So there is no need to come up with an ad creative. 
  • Ad Composition: It takes whatever is available in the chosen TikTok post. Plus, clicking the profile photo would you to the user’s profile, and clicking on the music button would take you to the music page. 
  • Ad Caption: No restriction over video duration, ratio, or resolution. All you need is to figure out the right type of ad campaign that makes things happen for you.
  • Ad Format: There are no hard and fast rules for ad formats. You can use your TikTok posts to meet the community guidelines and terms of service.

4. Playable Ads

Playable ads is an interactive video ad on TikTok. This type of ad allows you to showcase the preview of an app before the installation. It helps advertisers engage the audience while displaying this full-screen video ad.

The idea behind this type of TikTok ad is that it allows the audience to interact with the ad in a full-screen playable experience. Furthermore, the audience could tap or swipe on the ad to go through the whole experience of the app. 

Lastly, there is a call-to-action button available on the ad screen to trigger the download, just in case. 

Here are the details about playable ads you might want to know:

  • Availability: The playable ad is available to the following countries: Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Peru, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan
  • Ad Format: The format of the playable ads is video. However, the ad material must be available in the .zip folder. 
  • Interactive Video Tool: It’s a tool available to allow listed clients, which allows you to create playable ads using the image and video. 
  • Ad Size: The ad zip folder should be smaller than 5 M.B.
  • Ad Main File: Make sure that the main .html file in the directory is named index.html.

To go through the complete setup and requirements of playable ads, check out this tutorial on setting up the playable ads.

5. Carousel Ads

Carousel-ads
Source:TikTok

TikTok carousel ads let you advertise up to ten images in a single ad. The way it works is that when a viewer stumbles upon the carousel ad and seems interested in the ad, the person swipes left to right to check out the next image in the carousel.

As far as the caption goes, each image in the carousel ad has its caption, meaning you could add a unique caption for each image in the carousel ad.

If a caption is too long, it won’t be displayed in full. Instead, you’ll see three dots “…” at the end of the line.

Let’s dive into the carousel ad specifications:

  • Number of Images: You must have at least two images, but the number shouldn’t exceed ten.
  • Image Size: There are no hard and fast rules for the image size in the carousel ads. However, the system automatically centers the image, whether it’s a square image (640x640px) or a horizontal image (1200x628px). 
  • File Type: The images for the carousel ads should be either PNG or JPG.
  • Title Characters Limit: The text should be between 12 and 40 characters. However, 20 characters are the best length to display the text in one line.
  • Ad Objective: The carousel ad can only be used for traffic, conversion, and app Install objectives.

6. Collection Ads

Collection ads are an ad format that lets you create a gallery of products and helps the audience discover and browse products in the full-screen mode. One of the perks of collection ads is that it creates an Instant Gallery Page when you publish this ad.

The collection of ads makes it easier for the advertiser to grasp the customer’s attention by displaying a gallery of products in front of the potential customers. Not only does it improve products discovery, but it could also lead to more sales and conversion.

The Instant Gallery Page works as an interactive products page that allows visitors to go through the curated gallery of products. The advertiser can either handpick the products to display or let the system dynamically choose the relevant products for each visitor.

Let’s take a look at the specifications of collection ads:

  • Immersive Experience: It lets advertisers provide an immersive environment on the TikTok platform and display products gallery in front of the most engaged audience.
  • Products Discovery: The products discovery and accessibility using the collection ads might not even be remotely close to any other type of social media ad. 
  • Personalized Products Recommendation: One of the strongest points of the collection ad type is that it would let you portray the most relevant products to your audience. Simply put, the audience would see the most suitable product recommendations based on their persona. 

Note: The collection ads are in testing and not available for all users or markets. 

Are TikTok Ads Worth It?

Since TikTok has become the go-to app every 12 to 24 years old, it has a lot of potential from a sales-and-marketing standpoint. 

TikTok ads are a goldmine for the brands that target younger demographics. Let’s not forget that this short-video platform has over a billion monthly active users.

As far as advertising is concerned, it’s important to understand several factors that determine whether or not the platform has scope for running successful ad campaigns.

According to Hootsuite, if you’re targeting a younger audience, the TikTok advertising is a natural fit, and the reason is that the majority of the TikTok audience is between 13 to 28. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key indicators to determine whether or not TikTok ads are worth it:

Average User Time

According to eMarketer, The average user time on TikTok was around 40 minutes per day in 2021 and 52 minutes in 2022. However, it’s estimated that it could fall to 37 minutes per day in 2023.

Total Number of Downloads

For the first quarter of 2020 TikTok became the most downloaded mobile app which is the best quarter by any app.

Audience Age Group

It’s been learned that almost 43% of the overall TikTok users are between 18 to 24. The female audience in this audience group is 24.7%, which opens million of dollars of business opportunities for brands.

Multiple Ad Formats

We’ve gone through different TikTok ads types and discussed their formats as well. One of the perks of advertising on TikTok is that it offers several ad formats, which makes it easier for brands and entrepreneurs to test out different ad formats and types.

Audience Size

The TikTok audience size is rapidly growing worldwide. The monthly active U.S. TikTok users have surpassed the 100 million mark, which is almost 37% of the U.S. 267 million mobile internet users.

So the above-mentioned indicators tell us that TikTok ads are worth trying not just for US-based brands but also in other parts of the world.

Related: Beat TikTok Algorithm

Who Uses TikTok Ads?

Have you ever thought about who uses TikTok ads? This thought may have crossed your mind when you’re trying to capitalize on TikTok ads. A lot of newbie advertisers get cold feet because of all the anticipation and pressure of paid advertisements.

So let us briefly tell you who uses TikTok ads these days:

Brands

A lot of small and mid-sized businesses and brands use TikTok ads, especially those who want to reach out to the younger audience to sell. 

You might see a TikTok ad for a local PUBG competition in your area, but you might not come across an ad for the latest Microsoft operating system on TikTok. 

Most TikTok advertisers know whom to target and where they can find them. TikTok is a relatively modern social media platform for Generation Z. 

Influencers

The influencers also use social media ads to sell their products, services, or courses. Since TikTok is a hot platform these days, it has become a clear choice for the influencers to advertise on.

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are business owners, and they won’t let the chance to get the attention of the audience go in vain. Therefore, some entrepreneurs are cashing in on the TikTok ads these days. 

Not only do they sell books or courses, but they’re also trying to teach people for free just to amass the audience on this highly-engaging short-video platform.

Social Media Experts

Social media experts know where the eyeballs are, and if they have already established themselves on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, they often go for TikTok. 

Furthermore, they could use TikTok ads to maximize their efforts of building an audience on this vertical videos platform. 

Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profits use almost every major social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to advertise their cause. 

Since TikTok has a massive audience and attention, running TikTok ads for a charity could be a game-changer for such organizations.

So there were a few examples of who uses TikTok ads. 

If you’re an avid TikToker and spend a lot of time on the platform, you must have seen different types of ads on TikTok. You could surely vouch for this argument that brands, influencers, and organizations use TikTok ads to get traction.

How Much Do TikTok Ads Cost?

It’s quite hard to come up with a straightforward answer to this question. The reason is that online advertising cost depends on the competition and bidding. 

If you have run any PPC ad campaigns before, you’d know that finance and mortgage keywords are quite expensive to target as compared to office furniture keywords. 

TikTok ads are not that different. In fact, it’s said that TikTok ads cost more than Facebook and Instagram ads. According to TuffGrowth, advertisers normally pay $1 per click and $6 per 1,000 impressions on TikTok.

However, it’s also true that the TikTok ad costs depend on the pricing components such as the objective, campaign budget, audience type, and click-through rate.

Therefore, a thousand ad impressions from the U.S. demographics would cost more than the Thailand demographics.

Furthermore, conversion optimization and bid management do make a difference in the long run, but success doesn’t happen on a whim.

It’s very common for the advertisers to test the water before going all in, meaning advertisers test out different features/options on an ad platform before doubling down on the advertising.

It’s safe to say that TikTok ad spots aren’t as competitive as Facebook and Instagram just yet. However, the TikTok advertising cost would go up slowly but surely.

Related:TikTok Integration

TikTok Statistics 2022

We stumbled upon several statistics about TikTok that are worth mentioning here:

One Billion Monthly Active Users

TikTok has quickly become a top-tier social media platform in a matter of three to four years. According to Statista, TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. 

Three Billion Installations Worldwide

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok has gotten over three billion installations globally. Since TikTok has over one billion monthly active users, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

20.83% of the Total Internet Users Use TikTok

According to Backlinko, there are 4.8 billion internet users in the world, and 20.83% of them watch videos on TikTok.

India and the U.S. Have the Most TikTok Users

TikTok’s largest user bases are India and the United States. According to Gadgets360, TikTok has over 611 million TikTok installs from India. However, the U.S. is slightly ahead with over 745 million installs across both Android and iOS platforms, says Sensor Tower.

Average Weekly Time Spent on TikTok

It’s fascinating to learn that TikTok has a very high engagement rate. According to Statista, 6% of the users spend more than 10 hours on TikTok every week. 

TikTok Is Available in 141 Countries

No doubt that TikTok is a global trend and sensation at the moment. According to Apptrace, the short vertical video app is currently available in 141 countries. Plus, TikTok is in the top 10 most used apps in 124 of these countries, which is huge.

TikTok Advertising Best Practices

Online advertising isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Therefore, it’s important to learn the best practices so that you don’t waste your time, energy, and money on the under-performing ad campaigns. Here are some top-notch TikTok advertising best practices:

I. Go Vertically Full-Screen

TikTok is a vertical video platform. Make sure that you aren’t using a landscape video for TikTok ads. It won’t appeal to the audience, and they’d ignore the ad.

II. Shoot High-Resolution Videos

One of the best practices for running TikTok ads is that the video quality must be high. It’s been seen that high-resolution video ads tend to perform better than grainy, low-resolution videos. 

III. Keep It Short and to the Point

TikTok is famous for bite-sized vertical videos. However, you could upload longer videos now. When TikTok was launched, the limit was 60 seconds, but the 15-second videos were the norm. As far as the TikTok ads are concerned, keep them between 9 to 15 seconds long. The TikTok ad must be short and to the point to attract the audience.

IV. Add Multiple Scenes and Frames

The experts think that multiple scenes and frames bring enticement to the audience. Video editing plays a vital role in making a TikTok ad powerful enough to hit the bullseye. Therefore, try adding several scenes or frames in the video ad to make it attractive.

V. Make It Engaging With Creativity

Besides video editing, the overall creativity of the storyline, dialogue, music, and voiceover makes all the difference. If you want to make your video ad engaging, you have to step up and stand out from the crowd. The audience quickly reacts, responds, and shares something they find funny, attractive, or useful.

VI. Use Music to Entice the Viewers

Music is an essential part of the TikTok realm. If you want to spice up your TikTok ads, then try using the best music in your TikTok videos. Sometimes, it’s the background music tracks or the sound effects that make all the difference. 

VII. Insert An Appealing Call-to-Action

Choose the right call-to-action for your TikTok ad campaign. It massively helps the ad audience respond to the ad. Most beginner advertisers don’t pay close attention to using the appropriate CTA on the TikTok ad campaigns and end up wasting money on the campaigns. 

VIII. Write a Captivating Caption

A one-liner is often better than a short paragraph in the caption area. When you go for a longer caption, the TikTok won’t show the full text. Instead, you’d see three dots (…) to read the full version of the caption. Therefore, writing a brief and captivating caption performs better in the TikTok ad.

Related: Best Time to Post on Social Media

Let’s Conclude!

TikTok has already taken the world by storm. A social media platform with over one billion monthly active users isn’t a joke. 

One of the reasons we guided you on TikTok advertising is that the platform is worth paying attention to these days. 

The TikTok ads program might not be available globally, but it will be in the future, at least in over 100 countries. Most tech companies roll out new features in fewer countries before making them accessible to the entire world.

If you live in one of those countries where TikTok ads are available, try cashing in on this ad platform and see how it works out for you before it becomes more saturated and competitive.

Let us know what you think of TikTok ads.

 

Hassaan Khan

Hassaan is a blogger and freelance writer. He has published articles on SEMrush, ThriveGlobal, BlogPress, FreelancerMap, and many other popular publications. He writes about freelancing techniques, tips, and career growth. Subscribe to his blog.

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